Man tests covid-19 negative, then positive, called back to hospital. He dies
The deceased’s son has alleged gross negligence, pointing out that after returning home and the assurance of having tested negative, his father had spent time with his granddaughters, one of whom is a seven-month-old baby.Updated: Apr 30, 2020 00:32 IST
In a case of alleged negligence, a Covid-19 patient at M R Bangur hospital, a designated Covid hospital in Kolkata, was told he had tested negative and discharged on April 26. Later that very night, the patient was told that there had been a mistake, that he had tested positive and readmitted to the hospital. He died on April 28 at the hospital.
The deceased’s son has alleged gross negligence, pointing out that after returning home and the assurance of having tested negative, his father had spent time with his granddaughters, one of whom is a seven-month-old baby.
Chief secretary Rajiva Sinha, director of health services Ajay Chakraborty and health secretary Vivek Kumar did not respond to questions sent by text messages and WhatsApp about the incident.
However, at the state secretariat, without mentioning Bangur hospital, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said on Wednesday that minor clerical mistakes do take place.
“There could be some errors at the ground level. Those must be forgiven for the time being. This is not a deliberate mistake. This is a new task and a new initiative. Some minor mistakes may happen.” She, however, did not mention the name of the hospital or patient.
“...There can be a minor error in a notice, a printing mistake. Some are trying to malign the government with these. All that health workers need at this hour is some appreciation,” she added.
The man was admitted to the hospital on April 22 as he was suffering from a dry cough.
“On April 25, I received a call from the hospital at night, saying my father had tested negative and would be released. He was discharged on the morning of April 26 and the discharge certificate had ‘Covid-19 negative’ written on it. However, that very night, hospital authorities telephoned me again, this time to say that there had been a mistake and he was actually positive. They asked me to take him back to the hospital,” said the son of the deceased, a resident of Bechu Chatterjee Street in North Kolkata.
The man was readmitted to the hospital on April 27 and died on April 28.
“Who is responsible for this mistake? They killed my father! Also, what if my children now test positive? My father spent time with them after coming back home. My mother is 63. They are all vulnerable,” said the deceased’s son.
A senior doctor at the hospital said that the error was not due to defective kits, since those had been sent back. It could not be ascertained whether the hospital is using kits of Chinese origin.
“It was a human error. The report came positive but got wrongly listed as negative,” said the doctor, who did not want to be identified.
A senior health official, who did not want to be named, said that all members of the family would be tested for novel coronavirus infection.